A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Cock

Cock
31 May 2022
Ambassadors Theatre
3.0 out of 5.0 stars

I had originally booked to see Cock back when the pre-sales started, but life (and Covid) got in the way, so I had to postpone my visit for quite a long time. I finally got around to it in late May and am very torn on whether the wait was worth it.

I’m always up for plays exploring identity and sexuality, and very happy to get to see another work that includes a non-binary view. Usually you’ll see heterosexuality or homosexuality explored, but works on any form of bisexuality are still very rare. However, Cock is not that. Sure, the main character lived most of his life as a gay man when he falls in love with a woman and questions his identity, but the way this issue is explored doesn’t sit quite right with me.

Not only is his character portrayed as a very wishy-washy, unreliable, cowardly liar, he himself bases his entire personality on being gay and thus struggles with falling for a woman purely on the basis that if he’s not gay, he doesn’t know who he is.

This is such a one-dimensional view of sexuality and felt very much like it fed into the old “bisexual people are confused and untrustworthy” narrative that I’d very much like to see left firmly in the past.

While I did think the play started off in a very interesting way, exploring relationships and showing how difficult they can be, the non-defined and very shallow character of the man placed in the centre of a love triangle made it hard to take the intensity of emotions seriously.

I can’t wait to see a long overdue play in the West End exploring sexuality and gender and society’s expectations in a healthier, less stigmatising way. Because this play definitely isn’t that.

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